West Tisbury makes deal for Field Gallery purchase


West Tisbury selectmen Wednesday signed a purchase and sales agreement with representatives of the Maley Family Trust to buy the 1.4-acre parcel that includes the Field Gallery and Sculpture Garden, across from the Congregational Church, for $625,000. The officials estimate the total cost will be $685,000.

Funding for the deal, contingent upon voter approval at the annual town meeting on April 12, starts with an appropriation of $510,000 in community preservation act (CPA) funds and $175,000 in income from the Field Gallery lease.

A five-year purchase plan described in a one-sheet handout was provided to The Times. The town would pay $625,000 to the Maleys. Interest and the cost of issuing bonds will be $50,000. Incidentals such as permits and well connections add $10,000.

In fiscal (FY) 2012, the town would borrow $285,000 and appropriate $350,000 in CPA funds that would be used for the outright purchase and incidentals.

From FY 2013 to 2017 the town would receive $175,000 in income and appropriate $160,000 in CPA funds to meet the costs associated with borrowing for the purchase.

Selectman Cynthia Mitchell told The Times the purchase is “cost-neutral” and would not affect the tax rate.

“What the selectmen have done is put the best deal together to present to voters,” Ms. Mitchell said. “Ultimately, whether it is completed is up to the voters.”

The proprietors of another gallery in town, the Granary Gallery, currently lease the Field Gallery from the Maleys for about $35,000 annually, according to town officials.

There is already a placeholder article on the town meeting warrant regarding the Maley property, but it does not have details of the purchase price or funding sources.